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Archive for the ‘laws’ Category

je mene des combats sur tous les fronts sans ambages, sans gants, meme dans la famille. Lors d’un tres beau diner de famille je decouvre lors de couper le gateau que des hommes seuls le coupent. Ou sont les femmes brillantes de la famille? une question legitime me diriez-vous. On me repond, une en se mariant a perdu le droit de faire partie de la Ligue familiale. Depuis dans la ligue une femme seule est presente. Ceux et celles qui connaissent mon combat pour les droits egaux de tous et toutes, vont savoir quelle a ete ma reaction. A la Kesrwanite que je suis et que je reste. Oui c’est ca. Quoi? c’est du n’importe quoi, parite et egalite dans les droits des membres de la famille on connait non? et on retrousse nos manches pour changer les lois, ou des status interieurs de ligues patriarchales?

Pour simple rappel des faits et verites concernant les femmes au liban : Une femme garde son nom de jeune fille jusqu’a sa mort. Cela veut dire, soit-elle une jeune fille, une sexagenaire ou une femme mariee. Je suis une Rita Chemaly, malgre mon mariage et bien, je garde mon nom de famille apres le mariage. Regardez simplement pour cela les epitaphes sur les tombeaux des femmes, sur les communiques de morts , necrelogie c’est ca? chequez les registres d’etats civils et les cartes d’identite vos meres gardent leur nom, et vos soeurs aussi.

Bref, on ne change pas d’identite en se mariant, juste de status.

Par consequent les femmes ont le droit de participer activement a la vie familiale. Les femmes ont plus que ce droit, A mon avis, elles doivent etre presentes paritairement aux hommes 50% 50% dans tous les postes de leadership.

Bon ceci etant dit, je rappelle qu’avec Lamia Moubayyed on avait pris la decision de ne plus participer a des panels et des evenements ou les femmes n’ont pas de role comme les hommes. Lamia avait hausse le ton lors d’une conference organisee par la banque mondiale, ou le panel etait forme d’hommes seulement. Cela doit faire effet de papillon sur toutes les ONG, sur les boards de toutes les societes privees et non privees, dans les evenements de toutes les Organisations internationales et dans toutes les ligues soient-elles familiales.

Femmes de ma famille et feministes hommes et femmes de ma famille on se ligue pour les droits de base? Feministes d’autres ligues, on vous aide aussi a amender vos status?

Liguons nous pour nos droits et celles de nos enfants , garcons et filles.

 

Rita Chemaly

http://nna-leb.gov.lb/ar/show-news/305123/

l’image et l’instant qui m’ont fait sursauter! nna only men in chemaly s league dinner image

l’image publiee par l’agence nationale de l‘information NNA

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Je suis tres contente! Hier le Parlement libanais a vote pour le projet de loi prepare par la Commission Nationale des femmes Libanaises (WWW.NCLW.ORG.LB) et presente au parlement par le depute Ghassan Moukhaiber en avril 2016.  Le projet de loi Permet aux femmes libanaises mariees, d’etre candidates aux elections municipales dans leurs localites  d’origine.

Ce droit est tres IMPORTANT. Il permet aux femmes de ne pas perdre tout les accomplissements qu’elles ont construits toute leur vie jusqu’a leur mariage. ce droit permet aux femmes de garder leur propre identite et de choisir ou se presenter aux elections, sans perdre tous les assets qu’elles ont pris du temps, du temps de leur vie a batir dans leur village/region d’origine, avec leur famille. Ce droit permet aux femmes de ne plus etre exclues de leurs familles.

Ce droit permet aux femmes de participer activement au developpement de leurs regions, de ne pas etre simples spectatrices, pire des spectatrices de passage. Leur mariage leur coupait le droit de participer activement au developpement de leur localite d’origine. Les femmes qui etaient elues en tant que celibataires dans le conseil municipal, perdaient leur poste apres le mariage. Mais la nouvelle loi, La loi amendee leur permet de garder un lien fort avec leur region et pouvoir marquer leur region des traces indelebiles de leurs travaux!

Municipales dans quelques annees, vous allez voir le nombre de femmes qui vont 1 se presenter aux elections et 2 gagner et 3 developper leur localite!!!

En toute solidarite

Rita Chemaly

LOI MUNICIPALE EGALITE FEMME LIBAN ELECTION

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Un coup grave pour les femmes libanaises: la loi electorale de 2017 ne comprend pas de quota pour les femmes.

Alors que le Liban a une des pires places concernant la participation politique des  femmes au sein du parlement, un tout tout petit 3% de femmes au sein de notre parlement en 2016.

avec une femme ministre au gouvernement, le Liban detient la pire des notes concernant la participation politique des femmes. la 143eme  place sur les 144 en ce qui concerne la participation politique.

Hier la coalition nationale pour les femmes en politique qui rassemble les ONGs, les activitistes et des entites etatiques qui ont pour mission l’avancee des droits des femmes, a hausse le ton.

les femmes libanaises sont pretes au combat, difficile certe, sans quota ou mesure positive de discrimination, mais pretes a s’allier et a se presenter aux elections .

en France dans le meme temps, une progression nette de 12 points pour les femmes dans l’Assemblee est soulignee par le Haut Conseil a l’Egalite.

une avancee de ” 12 points a été permise par l’effet conjugué des contraintes – loi sur le non cumul des mandats et doublement des pénalités financières pour les partis ne respectant pas la parité des candidatures – et l’objectif affiché de parité de la part du parti de la majorité présidentielle, arrivé largement en tête lors de ce second tour des élections législatives.”

Je ne peux que souhaiter a toutes mes amies partisanes au Liban , un combat difficile certe, de bien etre placee dans les listes des prochaines elections, et dans des circonscriptions ou elles peuvent gagner aussi.

en citant le Haut conseil a l’Egalite, je rappelle que ” la parité n’est plus une option mais une exigence démocratique. “

 

Rita Chemaly

 

 

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CALL for students and professionals:  Are you interested in electoral systems? A USJ graduate or ISP student or alumni? Are you specialized in elections? Are you an electoral practitioner? A member of an NGO specialized in elections?

Join the course on elections organised by ISP-USJ and UNDP.

intensive-3-days-course-on-elections-at-isp-usj-rita-chemalyCall for registration in the 3 Day intensive Course on Electoral Systems

Course title:              Electoral Systems: A Comparative Perspective

Dates:                         Monday to Wednesday 17-19 October 2016

Location:                   Institute of Political Sciences, USJ , Huvelin Street,  Beirut

Working language:      English

Course overview:

The course is a short, intensive and participatory learning experience for electoral practitioners and graduates interested in exploring the essentials of the structure and functions of electoral systems from a comparative international perspective, and understanding the practical use of electoral systems as instruments for inclusion, representation and delivery capacity of democratic governments.

The course will cover the following broad issues around electoral systems:

  • Electoral systems as rules of the game for elections with discussion on where the rules are embodied, the essence of democracy as a government of the people, main elements of electoral systems including formula of representation, and the relevance of the type of electoral management bodies for the working of the electoral system.
  • Electoral system families around the world with review of proportional, majority and mix systems, and the variations within each family. Comparative look at electoral systems used around the world and those in the Arab region.
  • Inclusion and representation through electoral systems with a review of demographic versus territorial representation, gender and minority representation, the inclusion of poor, illiterate and persons with disabilities in the electoral system, and dealing with electoral justice in making electoral systems effective. Linkages between the different formulas of representation with the interests of politicians and leaders.

The course involves completing three days of interactive sessions, lectures and review of country experiences; daily group work will lead to the required end of course assignment. Participants will receive a certificate of completion.

The course will be led Professor Rafael López-Pintor, a pioneer in the democracy promotion movement who has helped improve the electoral systems of more than twenty countries. He will be assisted by Wissam Lahham and Rita Chemaly from the Political Science Institute. Other professors and experts in the field will also contribute to the interactive sessions, lectures and best practice case studies, fostering innovation, creative learning and networking amongst peers.

Detailed program of the 3 days can be downloaded :

http://www.isp.usj.edu.lb/pdf/ELECTORAL%20SYSTEMS%20%20course%20outline_Online%20Version.pdf

Course fees:                 100$ for USJ students, 300$ for non USJ students and professionals

For registration, send a cover email explaining why you wish to attend the course with your CV to isp@usj.edu.lb, with the subject title “registration 3 Day intensive Course on Electoral Systems” by Friday October 7 2016, at noon at the latest. ISP administration will shortlist the candidates and inform them of their successful registration by email

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Wonderful and amazing Video on gender equality by IWSAW-LAU, about the inequality facing women in Lebanon, and how decision makers are not considering the women voices!

The video, and the Lyrics are just great! by a simple cartoon they tackle GBV,  it tackles women stereotyping and the fact that law makers are not discussing women issues and rights with Women!!

I loved also  how they say that law makers prepare laws and forget them and Loose them in the drawers!!!

I remember that since 2011 many law amendments were presented to the Parliament in Lebanon regarding equality, and till now, LAWS were not Discussed !!! or Voted for….

MPs, did where , in which drawer did you hide those laws amendments?!!

Hat off IWSAW team!!!

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J’ai mal pour le papa de feu le soldat Hamiyeh. En l’absence de l’Etat qui n’a pas pris des decisions fermes depuis la prise en otages des soldats libanais, le pere du soldat Hamiyeh crie vengeance . Aujourd’hui un nouveau crime a ete commis, ou est l’Etat ?? Ou sont les institutions qui doivent agir et ne pas laisser des dossiers brulants languir? ( snif le kidnapping de soldats est devenu un dossier)

Hamourabi ou le vieil adage oeil pour oeil dent pour dent n’engendre selon moi que de la violence! L’Etat de droit , celui des institutions qui fonctionnent est seul a meme de mettre fin a la violence et de permettre aux victimes de reposer en paix! J ‘ai mal pour le papa du soldat Hamiyeh , vraiment mal! Aussi mal que nos institutions qui vont si mal!

Rita

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The National Commission for Lebanese Women, that is a National machinery affiliated to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers , has prepared a Draft law aiming at Helping Women to be Candidates and Win the elections for the municipalities.

The municipalities elections in Lebanon are a family and neighbors issue. The Women who want to be candidate needs to be registered as a condition in the registry of the Municipality. “sejjel kayd”.

The discrimination appears in article 25, of the current Municipality law, in which a Women will loose all her links to the family, and networks that she has created in her municipality of origins ” sejil kaydiha el assassi”  if she gets married, as she is directly and without asking taken down from the registry of origin and enlisted in the registry of her “Husband”.

For me, it is a PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY in which a Women is the PROPRIETY of her FATHER until Marriage, after MARRIAGE, SHE IS THE PROPRIETY OF HER HUSBAND;

regardless my point of view of how the laws in LEBANON discriminate against women in the texts and make her directly affiliated to a MAN (the father or husband) , the new draft law is  a new step forward for women’s rights in Lebanon. this is done through this draft law amendment registered at the Parliament by the Active MP Ghassan Mukahiber, on the 11/4/2016 under registry number 168/2016,

as a Practical example, I as a married women from Achkout/Kesrwan , can be candidate after my marriage in Achkout if I wish ! Because in the Municipality of my Husband which is Deir Dourit/Chouf, no one have ever heard of me! 🙂 unlike Achkout, where all my activism, links, are tight 🙂

apart from this personal example, and for this,

 I am now asking ALL MPS (the reconducted oops! ) (another polemique here hein? ) to LEGIFERATE and VOTE and ratify this NEW amendment PRIOR TO THE 2016 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS!

WE AS WOMEN need IT!!!!  WE still fight for our rights in municipalities : a change of the law is a must!

Rita Chemaly

here is the text of the law amendment as presented to the parliament by Ghassan Mokhaiber.

here is the link to the Press release covered by our National News Agency! http://nna-leb.gov.lb/ar/show-news/216377/ 

 

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To all the blog readers wanting to know what the national machinery in Lebanon is working on regarding to Women’s rights in lebanon, here is the Annual Report dated December 2014 covering all the components from LAWS to Circulars, with clear details regarding the discrimination faced by women . Also, the networking happening between the NCLW and the CSOs as well as the International agencies is clear!!

the report is in 2 languages!!!

Rita Chemaly!!

Women in Lebanon will one day be Free of ALL kind of Discriminations thanks to the efforts of ALL!!!

 

NCLW Annual Report 2014 copy reducedNCLW Annual Report 2014 english and arabic

 

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I think it is a Brilliant Idea for the wishes card  worked by the Hakkik Daman Ayeltik Campaign, a campaign that aims to raise awareness of women and men related to the discriminations faced by women regarding social security law and especially the inequality that women in Lebanon still face in this law.

the picture below is for wishes for the new year, and it states that your right is to have your wishes come true!

therefore, I will use it to ask all our lebanese Parliament members to work hard on amending the law and ensure that men and women are equal in Lebanon!!!! especially in the Social Security Law!!!

w especially that the CEDAW international committee has recommended you to do soo very very recently!!!  🙂

Rita Chemaly

campaign for womenr rights Lebanon 2015 Rita Chemaly.jpg

For more information about the laws and the campaigns running related to social rights and especially in the social security law,

here are the 2 facebook pages

https://www.facebook.com/hakkikdamanik/

https://www.facebook.com/LebaneseNationalCampaignForWomenRightsWaynBadna/

 

Some of my previous posts about the same issue:

Small steps for gender equality, long road ahead in Lebanon

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Mar-08/249615-small-steps-for-gender-equality-long-road-ahead.ashx

https://ritachemaly.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/8-mars-womensday-et-au-liban-les-discriminations-qui-atteignent-les-femmes-sont-encore-nombreuses/

https://ritachemaly.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/droits-des-femmes-au-liban-2012-rita-chemaly-auteur-et-chercheure1.jpg

https://ritachemaly.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/droits-des-femmes-au-liban-conge-maternite-et-conge-paternite-par-rita-chemaly.jpg

https://ritachemaly.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/en-avril-le-conseil-des-ministres-allonge-le-conge-maternite-a-10-semaines/

https://ritachemaly.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/congratulations-lebanese-women-can-now-have-60-days-of-maternity-leave/

Members of Parliament we Want an Extension of the Maternity Leave In Lebanon 

NOW!

Maternity Leave In Lebanon is in the drawer of Parliament because of Political problems

March 21 is mother day but in Lebanon women are not treated fairly maternity leave is a must

en Avril Le Conseil des Ministres Allonge le Conge maternite a 10 semaines

Lebanese Mothers: Missing Their Babies … an article about maternity leave by C.Benoit

Le conge maternite au Liban en route vers la ratification finale

A step Forward to women’s rights … Maternity leave in Labor law is amended

 

 

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Today the National Commission for Lebanese women and UNFPA, worked hard on disseminating the Concluding observations published by the United Nations Committee on Lebanon. The concluding observations are a kind of ” findings”  that cover how each country is implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, #CEDAW, this year these findings ” highlight positive developments ”  and most importantly highlight ”  main matters of concern and recommendations”.

UN committee give those observations after holding discussions with the government delegation and the NGOs of the country.

IMG-20151210-WA0011

The Last recommendation of this batch was already implemented by NCLW and UNFPA: Disseminating the observations widely! Picture taken by Rita Azzi 

 

This year the main area of concern were numerous:

I am listing their titles below:

  • Refugee, asylum-seeking and stateless women\
  • Parliament
  • Withdrawal of reservations
  • Constitutional framework
  • Legislative framework
  • Access to Justice
  • National machinery for the advancement of women
  • Stereotypes
  • Violence against women
  • Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
  • Participation in political and public life
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Women migrant workers in domestic service\
  • Women Palestine refugees
  • Health
  • Rural women
  • Marriage and family relations

as for the main areas of concerns: here is their translation to arabic for those who wish to get a quick look! (Lebanon cedaw Areas of concerns in arabic Rita Chemaly)

I am copy pasting for those who are interested in the Principal areas of concern and recommendations as they were published in the document of the UN #cedaw committee. 

Refugee, asylum-seeking and stateless women

  1. The Committee commends the State party for the open border and reception policy that it has had for years regarding refugees from Palestine, Iraq and Syria, for hosting over 2 million refugees and its remarkable and sustained efforts to ensure the protection of refugees and asylum seekers. However, it takes note of the policy paper on Syrian displacement in Lebanon approved by the Council of Ministers on 23 October 2014 and the three main priorities for managing the displacement crisis. The Committee is concerned that the 1962 Law regulating the Entry, Stay and Exit to/in/from Lebanon does not distinguish between asylum seekers/refugees and migrants. The Committee is further concerned about the high number of reported cases of child, early and forced marriage among Syrian refugee women and girls and the lack of official data on this phenomenon, as well as on the number of stateless persons in Lebanon.
  2. The Committee recommends, in line with its general recommendation No. 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women, that the State party:

(a)     In the implementation of its policy paper on Syrian displacement in Lebanon approved by the Council of Ministers on 23 October 2014, ensure that the principle of non-refoulement is upheld, including for women and girls in need of international protection, by ensuring access to its territory, establishing gender-sensitive asylum procedures, and including gender-based violence as a ground for asylum, in line with Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention;

(b)     Review the 1962 Law regulating the Entry, Stay and Exit to/in/from Lebanon, to distinguish between the protection needs of asylum seeking and refugee women on one hand and migrant women on the other hand;

(c)      Seek technical support for the establishment of a data collection system on incidents of gender-based violence against women, in particular sexual violence, and incidents of child, early and forced marriages of refugee women and girls, and provide victims with medical and psychosocial assistance and access to justice, in line with Article 2 of the Convention, and the Committee’s General Recommendation No. 33 (2015) on women’s access to justice;

(d)     Conduct a census to ascertain the number of stateless persons in its territory and take the necessary measures, provide them with civil registration documents and consider ratifying the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Additional Protocol, the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;

(e)      Enlist and mobilize the support of the international community to share the economic burden and to provide for the needs of the refugee population, including resettlement and humanitarian admission opportunities and continue cooperating with UNHCR;

(f)      Adopt a national action plan to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, and ensure women’s participation at all stages of peace processes, in line with the Committee’s General Recommendation No. 30 (2013) on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations, and seek the support of the international community for the implementation of its obligations.

Implementation

  1. The Committee is fully aware of the efforts undertaken by the State party to adopt a legal and institutional framework protecting and promoting women’s rights. The Committee urges the State party to consider the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations as requiring a high priority for national mobilization and international support. The Committee urges the State party to promptly implement the present concluding observations by setting up a coordination mechanism with all relevant State institutions at all levels, the parliament and the judiciary, and the civil society, as well as with its international partners.

Parliament

  1. The Committee stresses the crucial role of the legislative power in ensuring the full implementation of the Convention (see the statement by the Committee on its relationship with parliamentarians, adopted at the forty-fifth session, in 2010). It invites the Parliament, to take all measures necessary to unblock the current institutional crisis and, in line with its mandate, to take the steps necessary for the implementation of the present concluding observations.

Withdrawal of reservations

  1. Notwithstanding the detailed explanations given by the delegation, the Committee remains concerned about the State party’s reluctance to withdraw its reservation to:

(a)     Article 9 (2), with a view to granting women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children.. The Committee also notes with concern that the Council of Ministers repeatedly endorsed the discriminatory provision in Decree No. 15 of 1925 on Lebanese Nationality establishing that nationality is exclusively based on patrilineal descent;

(b)     Article 16 (1) (c), (d), (f) and (g) regarding equality in marriage and family relations.

  1. The Committee calls upon the State party to:

(a)     Withdraw its reservation made upon accession to the Convention regarding article 9 (2) and repeal Decree No. 15 of 1925 on Lebanese Nationality and adopt legislation ensuring women equal rights with men to confer their nationality to their foreign spouse and children;

(b)     Withdraw its reservation made upon accession to the Convention regarding article article 16 (1) (c), (d), (f) and (g).

       (c)           Initiate a dialogue with the leaders of religious sects communities and religious scholars, taking in consideration best practices in the region, with a view to overcome the resistance to the withdrawal of its reservations to the Convention.

Constitutional framework

  1. The Committee remains concerned that the Lebanese Constitution is still not in full conformity with the Convention and does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. It is also concerned about the limited scope and applicability of the procedure for challenging laws on the basis that they are incompatible with the State party’s Constitution and its international legal obligations.
  2. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations to include in the Constitution a provision defining and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, in line with article 2 (a) of the Convention (CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/3, paras. 10 and 11 and A/60/38, para. 95 adopted in 2005) and to amend articles 9 and 10 of the Constitution to ensure gender equality in the context of religious freedom and sectarian diversity.

Legislative framework

  1. The Committee welcomes the initial review legislation containing discriminatory provisions against women by the State party but is concerned about the delays in adopting the required amendments. The Committee welcomes the amendment of the Criminal Code and the repeal of its Article 562. However, it is concerned about the remaining discriminatory criminal law provisions as well as personal status laws that discriminate against women within sects and between women across different sects. The Committee is also concerned about discriminatory provisions in labour, social security and municipal elections laws.
  2. The Committee recommends that the State party expedite a comprehensive legislative review to ensure compatibility with the provisions of the Convention, and, upon resolution of the institutional crisis and the re-functioning of the government, urges it to amend or repeal all articles of the Criminal Code, personal status laws as well as labour, social security and municipal election laws that discriminate against women.

Access to Justice

  1. The Committee is concerned about the obstacles women face when accessing the justice system, in particular the lack of adequate legal aid services and the lack of knowledge and sensitivity of justice officials regarding women’s rights.
  2. The Committee in line with its general recommendation No. 33, on women’s access to justice, recommends that the State party:

(a)     Institutionalize systems of legal aid and public defence that are accessible, sustainable and responsive to the needs of women and ensure that such services are provided in a timely, continuous and effective manner at all stages of judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, including alternative dispute resolution mechanisms;.

(b)     Take immediate steps, including capacity-building and training programmes for justice system personnel on the Convention and women’s rights , to ensure that religious courts harmonize their norms, procedures and practices with the human rights standards enshrined in the Convention and other international human rights instruments.

National machinery for the advancement of women

  1. The Committee regrets the institutional weakness, the limited status, the insufficient decision-making authority, human, technical and financial resources of the national machinery for the advancement of women and the obstacles faced concerning coordination and gender mainstreaming throughout all government bodies. The Committee is concerned about the low level of coordination between the gender focal points within the line Ministries with the Department of Women’s Affairs of the Ministry of Social Affairs. The Committee is also concerned about the limited and inadequate information provided on the implementation of the National Strategy for Women in Lebanon.
  2. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/3, para. 21) that the State party:

(a)     Give urgent priority to strengthen the institutional capacity of the national machinery for the advancement of women, and provide it with the mandate, decision-making power and human, technical and financial resources that are necessary to work effectively for the promotion of equality of women and men and the enjoyment of their human rights;

(b)     Institutionalize and strengthen the system of gender focal points in line Ministries and other public institutions in order to achieve an effective gender mainstreaming strategy throughout its policies and programmes;

(c)      Ensure coordination between the national machinery and its cooperation with civil society and women’s non-governmental organizations with a view to promote a participatory planning for the advancement of women.

(d)     Accelerate the implementation of the National Strategy for Women in Lebanon by adopting a plan of action that clearly defines the competencies of national and local authorities regarding the National Strategy, and supported by a comprehensive data collection system to monitor its implementation.

Stereotypes

  1. The Committee is concerned about the discriminatory patriarchal stereotypes about the roles and responsibilities of women and men in society and in the family and the role of the media in overemphasizing the traditional role of women as mothers and wives or commodities thus undermining women’s social status and their educational and professional careers. The Committee notes with concern that the advertising sector persistently convey stereotyped and sometimes degrading images of women.
  2. The Committee recommends that the State party take all measures necessary to raise awareness of the media and the advertising sector to eliminate discriminatory gender stereotypes, to ensure that women are not portrayed only as wives and mothers or commodities and to promote positive images of women as active participants in political, economic and social life.

Violence against women

  1. The Committee welcomes the adoption of Law No. 293 of 7 May 2014 on the protection of women and other family members from domestic violence. However, the Committee notes with concern the absence in the law of an explicit reference to gender-based violence against women and of provisions specifically criminalizing marital rape, crimes committed in the name of so-called honour, and other harmful practices. It is also concerned that the law continues to maintain discriminatory provisions with regard to the criminalization of adultery and that it takes no precedence over customary and personal status laws. The Committee further regrets the lack of disaggregated data on the number of reports, investigations, prosecutions and convictions in cases of violence against women, including sexual harassment, domestic violence, assault and rape, including by security forces.
  2. The Committee urges the State party to:

(a)     Amend Law No. 293 on domestic violence, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 19 (1992) on violence against women, to specifically criminalize gender-based violence against women, marital rape, crimes committed in the name of so-called honour, and other harmful practices;

(b)     Remove discriminatory provisions between women and men regarding adultery and ensure that Law No. 293 on the protection of women and other family members from domestic violence takes precedence over customary and personal status laws;

(c)      Collect data, disaggregated by sex, age, nationality and relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, on the number of reported cases of violence against women, of prosecutions, convictions and sentences imposed on perpetrators

(d)     Strengthen the legal, medical and psychological support to victims of violence against women;

(e)      Ensure that all allegations of sexual harassment are recorded and that all allegations of assault and rape, are duly investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned and that victims have access to appropriate redress, including compensation. Ensure that all allegations of assault and rape by members of the security forces are investigated by an independent judicial authority.

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

  1. The Committee welcomes the adoption of the Anti-trafficking Law No. 164 of 2011 but notes with concern that the artist visa scheme of 1962 facilitates sexual exploitation of women migrant workers in the entertainment sector, and that the law no. 164 is not effectively being enforced, that it criminalizes victims and is without prejudice to the artist visa scheme. It is also concerned about the absence of an early identification and referral system for victims of trafficking who are frequently arrested, detained and deported without adequate protection and assistance for victims and weak coordination between government security, justice and social services as well as lack of cooperation with civil society.
  2. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a)     Review and revise the artist visa scheme to ensure it is not misused for the sexual exploitation of women and take appropriate steps to decrease the demand side of prostitution;

(b)     Amend article 523 of the Criminal Code as necessary to ensure that victims of trafficking are not subjected to prosecution;

(c)      Provide mandatory gender-sensitive capacity-building for judges, prosecutors, border police, immigration authorities and other law enforcement officials to ensure the strict enforcement of the Anti-Trafficking Law by promptly prosecuting all cases of trafficking in women and girls and adequately punishing traffickers;

(d)     Ensure early identification and referral to protection of trafficking victims; and strengthen assistance to victims of trafficking, including by granting temporary residence permits to victims of trafficking irrespective of their ability or willingness to cooperate with the prosecution authorities and by providing them access to alternative income opportunities, respectively;

(e)      Provide victims of trafficking with adequate access to health care and counselling and strengthen those services by providing targeted training to social workers;

(f)      Ensure inter-agency coordination between government security, justice and social services to combat trafficking and strengthen cooperation with civil society.

 

Participation in political and public life

The Committee is concerned about the gross underrepresentation of women in public and political life; the lack of capacity-building for political parties and labour unions representatives on women’s rights and regrets that the draft law providing for a 30 per cent minimum quota for women’s representation on candidates lists of political parties for parliamentary elections was not adopted. It is concerned about the strong political resistance to the adoption of temporary special measures to effectively promote women’s equal participation in public and political life.

  1. The Committee recommends that the State party:

       (a)           Take all appropriate measures to increase the number of women in elected and appointed office at all levels, so as to comply with article 7 of the Convention;

(b)     Take concrete measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4 (1) of the Convention, the Committee’s general recommendation no. 23 on women in political and public life and general recommendation no. 25 on temporary special measures, and to establish concrete goals and timetables in order to accelerate the increase in the representation of women in all spheres of public and political life;

(c)      Implement awareness-raising campaigns to highlight the importance to society as a whole of women’s full and equal participation in leadership positions in all sectors and at all levels and explain the purpose of introducing temporary special measures such as quotas as a necessary strategy for accelerating realization of women’s de facto equality..

Education

  1. The Committee notes the recommendation in the study by the National Committee for the Follow-up of Women’s Issues and the Centre for Educational Research and Development to eliminate discriminatory gender stereotypes in school books. However, the Committee is concerned that the State party’s has not taken effective steps to remove such stereotypes from school curricula and textbooks. It is also concerned about the lack of training for teachers on women’s rights and gender equality and limited career guidance encouraging women and girls to choose non-traditional career paths, in particular in the fields of science and technology.
  2. The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts in reviewing school curricula and textbooks to eliminate any stereotyped and patriarchal roles of women. It reiterates its previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/3, para. 25) that the State party enhance training for teachers on gender, women’s rights and equality. The Committee further recommends that the State party give priority to eliminating traditional stereotypes and structural barriers that may deter girls from enrolling in traditionally male-dominated fields of study, such as science and technology, and step up efforts to provide girls with career counselling on non-traditional career paths including non-stereotypical vocational training.

Employment

  1. The Committee welcomes the adoption of Laws No. 266 and No. 267 of 15 April 2014 extending maternity leave in the public and private sectors to 10 weeks with full pay. However, the Committee is concerned about the lack of measures to promote the concept of shared family responsibilities and to combat the difficulties women face in combining work and family responsibilities. The Committee is also concerned about women’s limited access to the formal labour market and about the absence of legislation criminalizing sexual harassment in the work place. The Committee is further concerned about the occupational segregation and the high percentage of women in low paid jobs as service sector workers and salespersons, administrative staff and mid-level professions as well as gender pay gaps.
  2. The Committee calls on the State party to:

(a)     Promote equal sharing of family and domestic responsibilities between women and men, including by introducing compulsory paternity or shared parental leave following childbirth;

(b)     Take measures, including temporary special measures in line with article 4 (1) of the Convention and General Recommendation No. 5 (1988) on temporary special measures, such as incentives for employers to recruit women, introduce flexible working arrangements and strengthen professional training for women, with a view to enhancing women’s access to the formal labour market;

(c)      Adopt legislation criminalizing sexual harassment in the work place;

(d)     Take concrete measures to address horizontal and vertical segregation including by promoting the equal participation of women in highly skilled jobs and senior management positions; providing counselling and placement, that stimulate their on-the-job career development and upward mobility in the labour market; stimulating the diversification of occupational choices by both women and men; encouraging women to take up non-traditional jobs, especially in science and technology, and men to seek employment in the social sector and providing women with access to effective job training, retraining, counselling and placement services that are not limited to traditional employment areas;

(e)      Take concrete measures to close the gap between women’s and men’s pay and to implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value including by establishing a body responsible for conducting job evaluation schemes with gender-neutral criteria.

Women migrant workers in domestic service

  1. The Committee welcomes the various measures adopted by the State party to protect the rights of women migrant domestic workers, including by issuing unified contracts, requiring employers to sign up to an insurance policy, regulating employment agencies, adopting a law criminalizing human trafficking, and integrating women migrant domestic workers in the Social Pact and the National Strategy for Social Development. However, the Committee notes with concern that these measures have proved insufficient to ensure respect for the human rights of women migrant domestic workers. The Committee is equally concerned about the rejection by the Ministry of Labour of the application of the National Federation of Labour Union to establish a Domestic Workers’ Union and the .absence of an enforcement mechanism for work contracts of women migrant domestic workers; limited access by women migrant domestic workers to health care and social protection; and the non-ratification of ILO convention No. 189. The Committee is concerned about the high incidence of abuse against women migrant workers in domestic service and the persistence of practices such as the confiscation of passports by employers, the maintenance of the “Kafala system” which puts workers at risk of exploitation and make it difficult for them to leave abusive employers; obstacles affecting domestic workers’ access to justice, including fear of expulsion, insecurity of residence during procedures. The Committee is deeply concerned about the disturbing reports of documented deaths of migrant domestic workers from unnatural causes, including suicide and falls from tall buildings and the failure of the State party to investigate into those deaths.
  2. The Committee, in line with its General Recommendation No. 26 (2008), on Women Migrant Workers, recommends that the State party:

(a)     Raise awareness among women migrant domestic workers of their human rights under the Convention, and monitor the work of employment agencies, including by establishing an enforcement mechanism to ensure that the same contracts are used in the State party and in countries of origin;

(b)     Expedite the adoption of the draft law regulating domestic employment with adequate sanctions for employers engaging in abusive practices and ratify ILO Convention No. 189 (2011) on decent work for domestic workers;

(c)      Abolish the “Kafala system” and ensure the effective access to justice, of women migrant domestic workers including by guaranteeing their safety and residence during procedures;

(d)     Promptly investigate, prosecute and sanction all reports of deaths of women migrant domestic workers from unnatural causes;

(e)      Take the measures necessary to protect the rights of women migrant domestic workers including by approving the establishment of a Domestic Workers’ Union.

Women Palestine refugees

  1. The Committee is concerned about restrictions on the right to work of Palestine refugee women.
  2. The Committee recommends that the State party review and amend its labour laws to ensure Palestine refugee women’s right to work, namely by providing them with access to the labour market in the State party.

Health

  1. The Committee welcomes the adoption of the “Comprehensive Primary Health Care Package and Services” by the Ministry of Public Health in 2013, the establishment of primary health care centres throughout the State party and the progress achieved in reducing maternal mortality. The Committee is, however, concerned about the limited access of women and adolescent girls to sexual and reproductive health services in rural and remote areas in the State party. It is also concerned about insufficient monitoring of private health care providers, which offer most of the specialized health services for women. The Committee further notes with concern the high number of unsafe abortions due to the strict criminalization of abortion and the delay in introducing age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights at the primary, intermediate and secondary levels of education.
  2. The Committee recommends that the State party provide comprehensive health services, in particular sexual and reproductive health services, in each region in relation to area and population size; take measures to adequately monitor the performance of private health care providers, and introduce age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health in the curricula at the primary, intermediate and secondary levels of education. The Committee also recommends that the State party legalize abortion at least in cases of threats to the life or health of the mother, rape, incest, and severe fetal impairment and that it increase women’s access to safe abortion and post-abortion care services.

Rural women

  1. The Committee welcomes the creation in 2008 of the National Observatory for Women in Agriculture and Rural Areas by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Committee notes with concern the lack of updated disaggregated data on women’s participation in the agricultural sector. It remains concerned about the exclusion of women agricultural seasonal workers from the protection of the Labour Code and the limited initiatives for women’s access to rural entrepreneurship through technical assistance, micro credit facilities and bank accounts.
  2. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party collect updated disaggregated data on women working in the agricultural sector, adopt legislation for the protection of women agricultural seasonal workers and strengthen the support for the entrepreneurial initiatives of women in the rural areas.

Marriage and family relations

  1. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a)     Adopt an optional civil personal status law based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination and the right to choose one’s religious affiliation in order to protect women and alleviate their legal, economic and social marginalization;

(b)     Require religious sects to codify their laws and submit them to Parliament for review of their conformity with the Constitution and the provisions of the Convention; that it establish an appeals mechanism to oversee religious court proceedings and ensure that judgements of religious courts do not discriminate against women;

(c)      Set the legal minimum age for marriage at 18 years for girls and boys, in line with international standards, and takes the measures necessary to effectively prevent child marriage among rural girls.

 

 

in brief, in Lebanon, the long road ahead for equality is a process that needs many institutions to work hard , public administrations to make efforts, political will, working on behaviors, customs, and so much more!

the task is enormous? yes! but sooo many magnificient activists worked restlessly to have some positiveness in all this. We need to continue the struggle, and fight for #equal rights!!

Rita Chemaly

if you wish to download the full text of the concluding observations here is the word text:

CEDAW_Concluding observations on Lebanon 2015 Rita Chemaly

The source for the document is : http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=970&Lang=en

‪#‎16DaysofActivism‬ ‪#‎GBVTeachin‬ ‪#‎womenlead‬ ‪#‎orangetheworld‬  ‪#‎EndGBV‬ ‪#‎16days‬ #16dayscampaign

 

 

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Print screen of Food Safety association Lebanon NGO

Print screen of Food Safety association Lebanon NGO

I am not panicking, I am thinking how we can stop microbes, poisoning clients and people in restaurants and food places in Lebanon. Kids love to eat nuggets and Macdo Nuggets are bad?!  There is not a proper law for food safety that sets standards for  what we eat  in restaurants in Lebanon. Our dear MPs have not voted for a law for food Safety in Lebanon, I just found that late Fuleihan proposed a law, but “In 2006, the law was debated in the council of ministers and sent to parliament for further discussion but there has been no action since. ” Also, as per the Daily Star in 2012, “Future Movement MP Atef Majdalani submitted  a draft law on food safety, saying it aims to modernize a sector which has failed to keep up with modern standards.” Again, Nothing happened and a law protecting people’s life has not been “Cooked”.

I checked the Official gazette, nothing was voted and published in it since then related to food safety, so is the law sleeping in Parliament drawers, while citizens are eating “bad” and poisonous food? Food that is ‘dipped in diseases and microbes’ as yesterday’s Minister Faour Said in his press conference? Does anyone has other information ?

as for the minister Abou Faour , Is this just a flash campaign from the ministry of health, “flash” as “flash mobs” or will they continue testing “without taking “Rendez-vous” from restaurants and eating facilities? how can Inspectors for food safety not be bribed? Will the ministry publish the details of the results of all tests done? And what were they “testing”? Hygiene, microbes, salmonella?

I checked if there is Non Governmental Organisations working on the subject, I just found one called LAFS  Lebanese Association for Food Safety , they are not very active as their website is not updated and their Facebook Page is sleeping since the “Labneh scandal”,  March 27 2014 I believe, here is a print screen.

The good thing I found on their website are the description of Symptoms and illnesses even though they don’t add the sources of their information. Below is a copy paste of what is related to that.

I am repeating my self, Food Safety comes First, we need to have a proper law that regulates the tests, the “kabssets” and proper system of implementation that will penalize those who brake the law.

Again, I am repeating my last questioning post related to Roadster a place I go to a lot, what is the take of Roadster related to the chicken that failed the test? Especially that the cover page picture of Lebanese association for food safety on Facebook  shows a partnership with roadsterdiner.

My question, is food safety truly respected at roadsters or it is just a communication campaign and branding issue?

as for my credentials : a normal citizen asking for her right for proper and safe food in a country known for its restaurants and hospitality and eating services and Tabbouleh!

Rita Chemaly

Cover picture of the Lebanese Association for Food Safety partnering with Roadsterdiner taken from Facebook

Cover picture of the Lebanese Association for Food Safety partnering with Roadsterdiner taken from Facebook

Symptoms and Illnesses

Staphylococcus aureus

Symptoms

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Illness

  • Symptoms usually occur 2 to 6 hours after consumption of the contaminated food
  • Illness is self-limiting and lasts for 24 hours

 

Clostridium botulinum

Symptoms:

  • Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, blurred vision, fatigue, and double vision
  • Loss of muscle activity, slurred speech, difficult swallowing, breathing and moving limbs
  • If left untreated, death occurs within 1-5 days from respiratory failure

 

Illness

  • Symptoms start to occur 18-35 hours after the ingestion
  • Infant botulism was associated with consuming honey
  • Can be treated if caught early

 

Campylobacter jejuni

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain/cramps
  • Headache, Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Fever, chills

 

Illness

  • Individuals normally gets sick after 2-5 days of consuming the contaminated food
  • Duration is approximately 1 week
  • Further complications could be Meningitis, paralysis leading to death

 

Salmonella

Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Fever and chills
  • Diarrhea, cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Illness

  • Individuals normally gets sick 12 to 24 hours of consuming the contaminated food
  • Period of illness is 1-3 days
  • Infected individuals can carry and shed Salmonella for months without showing any symptoms.

 

Listeria monocytogenes

Symptoms

  • In healthy individuals the symptoms are “flu-like”
  • Susceptible individuals (pregnant women, elderly, newborns and infants, immunosuppressed individuals:
  • Stillbirth or abortion
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Septicemia (infection of the blood)
  • Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart)

Illness

  • Individuals normally gets sick after few days to 35 days of consuming the contaminated food
  • High mortality rate (30-40%)!!

E coli O157:H7

Symptoms:

  • Bloody diarrhea and urine
  • Kidney failure and death

Illness

  • Infective dose is extremely low < 10 cells!!!
  • Incubation period is around 2 days
  • High mortality rate!

Bacillus cereus

Illness and symptoms

  • Two types of syndromes
  • The first
    • Onset of symptoms occur within 8 to 16 hours of ingesting the food
    • Duration of the illness is short 6-24 hours
    • Main symptom: Diarrhea
  • The second
    • Illness similar to Staph aureus
    • Onset of symptoms is short (1-6 hours)
    • Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, and eventually diarrhea

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I am lost with some “studies” using 2005 as a baseline. I can’t stand duplications in the work of International Organisations. They are ready to pay amounts for  compilations that exists already, and for action plans that already have been developped in a participatory manner by numerous NGOs and  Govermental organisations.

In Lebanon, numerous authors, researchers and Organisations have worked on studies and documents that go beyond that date (2005) or 2006.

For all those who want to do a research about women rights in Lebanon, please do go back to the core CEDAW reports,

please do call NGOs working on legal issues (they are not numerous and phone calls wont take a whole day). (The goodones I advise you to call are : Abaad, Crtda, LFPA, LADE, CFUWI, KAFA, and of course the National Institution that that holds a coordinative and consultative mission that is NCLW:

Moreover you can check some Websites: all Information is available online, this is normal access to information right:

CEDAW report published in 2014 is available online!

Additionly to follow on legal issues, do not hesitate to check the easy and friendly tables published in NCLW reports:
Annual report 2013 (available in English and Arabic) is comprehensive related to the National Campaigns organised by numerous NGOs.

Annual report 2012 covers what happened till the end of 2012. (available in english and arabic)

and Annual Report 2011, shows the great work and details all laws related to women and the efforts done to implement them .

Moreover a full compilation of all the laws that exist in the Lebanese parliament drawers and the decrees presented to/or studied by the council of ministers have been compiled thematically in this big study funded by UNFPA lebanon. (Arabic version)

There is the  raodmap worked on with the Lebanese Parliament funded by UNDP and compiling  all laws related to women and that has been published in August 2013. AVAILABLE IN arabic .

For those who want to go back to the core texts developped and updated in a participatory manner here is the link for the Women National Strategy 2011-2021 (available in French, english and Arabic). Here is the Link to the National Action Plan 2013-2016 (available in arabic) and that aims to follow up on the implementation of the national strategy goals by various stakeholders.

More than that, all texts quoted previously give credit to all NGOs that have worked on a certain issue, so hearing again the “assumption” that NGOs in Lebanon do not work together or collaborate is in my opinion misleading! and using numbers from 2005 2006 reports a baselines for “legal and contextual researches” is in my opinion outdated.

No more outdated studies about women In Lebanon 2014 Chemaly

Rita Chemaly.

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Chemaly rita child marriage law Lebanon

Finally and after months of studies and meetings, the National Commission for Lebanese Women has presented to the Lebanese Parliament the Project Law (Draft Law) aiming at protecting children that are minors (less than 18 years old) from early marriages in Lebanon.

This draft law asks the amendment of article 483 of the penal code and makes the religious leader responsible of marriying children responsible of taking the approval of the Judge of the Juveniles prior to any tightening the knot of child brides or boys!

also the family of the children is made responsible of such marriages and mainly the “Wali” or the guardian/Tutor of the child that is getting married.

Also the draft law amends the competencies of the Judge of the Juvenile and the law of the Juveniles in Lebanon, obliging the guardians/tutor of minor children take the prior approval of the Judge of Juvenile for “special marriages”. The Judge will have to undertake a socio-economical analyse before giving his approval or denial of that right.

This Draft law that was presented by Member of Parliament Ghassan Moukheiber yesterday Monday 29 september 2014 at the Lebanese Parliament will now be studied by the Parliament Committees and than will go for a public vote on a General Assembly.

For me, as an activist working on that issue for so long, this is a first step, a huge step forward, all I aim for now is for the Parliament commissions to study the draft law, and Vote for it .

Children in Lebanon need protection from Marriage, from trafficking! this is a Step Forward!!

Hat for NCLW and for all those who are working from behind the scene toward protecting those vulnerable parties!

For those who wish to read the text of the draft law here it is:

Draft law protecting children from early marriage in Lebanon text of law as presented to the Lebanese Parliament -Rita Chemaly

Below is a infographic by Child not bride showing how early marriage impacts negatively the life of children and societies!

child marriage a global problem

Rita Chemaly

Below is the press review of the draft law registration at the Lebanese Parliament on Monday 29 of september 2014: http://www.neswacafe.com/newsneswa1.php?go=fullnews&newsid=4255

http://www.alaraby.co.uk/society/0009743f-2aa4-416b-805c-dbeba0b00eed

http://www.tayyar.org/Tayyar/News/PoliticalNews/ar-LB/mkhayber-underage-marriage-zek-50.htm

مشروع قانون لتنظيم زواج القاصرين

http://www.assafir.com/Article/375347

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CEDAW official Lebanon report is now ONLINE.

Lebanon has launched its official CEDAW Report on Women Status for 2014 today from the lawyers bar association.

for the arabic readers that want to read the report please do download the full PDF version by clicking on that link : Official CEDAW Lebanon 2014

CEDAW report has been prepared by NCLW (National Commission for Lebanese Women) and covers the period 2006-2014.

Rita Chemaly

Official CEDAW Lebanon 2014  .jpg

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Hier a Sciences Po Liban un panel a ete organise pour discuter des mariages precoces ou les mariages des enfants.

a ceux et celles qui sont interesses par le sujet voila la couverture de l’Orient Le Jour.

Rita

p04-9_658670_large la photo est prise de l’Orient le Jour aussi

« J’ai été élevée par mon mari, je ne me souviens même plus quand je lui ai été offerte… »

À l’USJ, la pratique néfaste du mariage précoce a été exposée hier en images lors d’une table ronde et d’un vernissage réalisés par l’université, l’ambassade du Canada et « L’Orient-Le Jour ». Un panel d’expertes a cerné le sujet sous toutes ses coutures.

Quand on aborde le sujet du mariage précoce, les chiffres des Fonds de l’Onu pour la population sont, le moins qu’on puisse dire, ahurissants. Aujourd’hui dans le monde, on dénombre environ 67 millions de femmes entre 20 et 24 ans qui se sont mariées avant d’avoir eu 18 ans. Parmi elles, une fille sur 9 s’est mariée avant d’avoir eu 15 ans. À en croire les chiffres, plus de 142 millions de fillettes mineures se marieront encore au cours des dix prochaines années, soit 40 000 filles par jour environ. Si, dans des pays comme le Nigeria, 75 pour cent des femmes vivent cette expérience douloureuse, et plus de la moitié d’entre elles au Yémen, cela ne veut pas pour autant dire que le Liban échappe au fléau. Selon une étude réalisée en 2009 par l’Administration centrale des statistiques, 13 pour cent des filles se marient à un âge précoce au pays du Cèdre.

Stéphanie Sinclair est photographe au magazine National Geographic. Depuis plus de dix ans, elle dissémine partout dans le monde des clichés de mineures mariées qu’elle a rencontrées dans le cadre de son travail au Yémen, en Afghanistan, en Inde, au Népal ou encore en Éthiopie. Soucieux de faire campagne pour cette cause mondiale, le Canada a décidé de présenter l’exposition réalisée par la photographe et son équipe dans une dizaine de pays, dont le Liban.

Hier, au campus des sciences sociales de l’Université Saint-Joseph, une table ronde était organisée pour traiter du sujet afin d’inaugurer l’exposition, réalisée au moyen d’un partenariat entre l’ambassade du Canada, l’Institut des sciences politiques de l’USJ et L’Orient-Le Jour. L’exposition Sinclair ne présentant pas spécifiquement le mariage précoce au Liban, c’est notre collègue Anne-Marie el-Hage, ayant mené l’enquête sur le terrain à ce sujet depuis plusieurs années, qui a complété la collection de clichés par des photos prises lors de ses reportages.

Sur les photos exposées dans le hall de l’amphithéâtre Gulbenkian, l’on peut voir Ghulam (11 ans) en compagnie de son époux Faiz (40 ans), peu de temps avant leur mariage en Afghanistan. La fiancée qui voulait devenir enseignante est triste ; elle a été retirée de l’école quelques jours plus tôt. Sarita, elle, pleure avant son départ à la demeure de son nouveau mari. Elle n’a que 15 ans. Le visage de Bibi Aïcha, pour sa part, témoigne des agressions qu’elle a dû subir depuis son mariage conclu pour expier le crime d’un membre de sa famille. Elle a les oreilles et le nez coupés. Sous la photo d’une autre fillette, cette légende qui en dit long : « J’ai été élevée par mon mari, je ne me souviens même plus quand je lui ai été offerte… »

(Lire aussi : 700 millions de femmes mariées de force, l’Unicef appelle à agir)
« Ces photos me touchent énormément », a affirmé l’ambassadrice du Canada Hilary Childs-Adams au lancement de la table ronde, après un mot d’accueil de la directrice de l’Institut des sciences politiques Carole Charabaty. « Depuis deux ans, heureusement, le mouvement pour lutter contre le mariage précoce prend plus d’ampleur. Ce phénomène détruit la vie des filles par le biais de grossesses non désirées, de maladies sexuelles, d’agressions, sans oublier qu’il met un terme à l’éducation et favorise la pauvreté », a ajouté la diplomate.

Un panel exclusivement féminin
Pour sa part, Anne-Marie el-Hage a tenté d’aborder le sujet d’un point de vue libanais en reprenant le récit de ses reportages au Akkar et dans d’autres régions. « Tout a commencé en 2010, alors que je menais une enquête sur l’analphabétisme au Akkar, a raconté la journaliste. Un père de famille m’a alors confié qu’il retirait sa fille de 12 ans de l’école pour la marier. Pendant plus de 4 ans, j’ai tenté d’en savoir plus, mais les habitants refusaient d’en parler. Ce n’est que cet été que j’ai pu me frayer un chemin vers des mineures qui ont eu à subir un mariage précoce. Ce genre de mariage est fréquent dans le Akkar, au Hermel, dans la Békaa et au Liban-Sud. Un peu partout à l’exception de la capitale. Et ce problème devient de plus en plus fréquent avec l’afflux des réfugiés syriens. Dans leurs camps, ces derniers concluent de nombreux mariages précoces. »

(Lire aussi : Les jeunes réfugiées syriennes, de plus en plus victimes de mariages précoces en Jordanie)
Ainsi, notre collègue a rapporté les histoires du village chiite de Siddiqine, sur les hauteurs de Tyr, et de Faour, un village sunnite de bédouins. Il y a d’abord celle de Ghadir (16 ans) qui a choisi d’épouser celui qu’elle aime, Mohammad (25 ans), peut-être par pauvreté « ou parce que c’est la norme ». Celle aussi de Nisrine, mariée à 15 ans par ses parents à un homme riche, le premier qui a demandé sa main. Étant aujourd’hui malheureuse, sa mère regrette de l’avoir mariée. Ou encore celle de Nadam, mariée à 14 ans pour expier un crime de famille ; de Kaoukab, qui a marié sa fille à 13 ans, mais aussi les histoires des réfugiées syriennes, le mariage précoce étant déjà assez répandu en Syrie.
« Un réfugié syrien a attendu que sa fille ait ses règles pour la donner en mariage. La petite croyait que le mariage se limitait juste aux festivités. La nuit de ses noces, elle s’est cachée dans l’armoire quand son mari a tenté de l’approcher, avant que sa belle-sœur ne la force dans les jours suivants à se soumettre », a raconté Anne-Marie el-Hage.
Leila Awada, avocate et activiste au sein de l’ONG Kafa, a assuré que ces fillettes sont souvent celles qui viennent 20 ans plus tard solliciter le soutien de l’association. « On se demande alors pourquoi elles sont restées avec leur mari tout ce temps. Pourquoi elles ont eu plusieurs enfants alors que leur homme les battait. Que voulez-vous qu’elles fassent si elles n’avaient que 14 ans ? » s’est interrogée l’avocate qui a qualifié cette situation de « prostitution légale » et qui a dénoncé l’absence de toute influence des autorités sur les tribunaux religieux au Liban, et le fait que certains cheikhs acceptent de marier de jeunes couples souvent mineurs sans l’accord de leurs parents. Des mariages souvent non reconnus qui finissent par mettre en danger la fille épousée.

Le Dr Fadia Kiwan, ancienne directrice de l’Institut des sciences politiques qui modérait le débat, a profité de l’intervention pour souligner l’importance de sensibiliser les jeunes à l’éducation sexuelle de manière saine et dénoncer certaines pratiques comme l’excision. « Le mariage précoce est un thème qui a refait surface dans nos sociétés arabes quand on a surtout vu des files d’attente d’hommes devant les mosquées attendant de marier leurs filles car ils ne pouvaient plus les nourrir », a-t-elle noté.

(Pour mémoire : Nada, 11 ans : « Plutôt mourir que d’être mariée de force »)

À chaque communauté ses lois
De son côté, Me Leila Azouri, présidente au sein de la Commission nationale pour les droits de la femme, a noté que dans 11 pays arabes, plus de 55 pour cent des pratiques jurisprudentielles encourageantes concernant la femme étaient en rapport avec les statuts civils. « Deux seulement concernent malheureusement le mariage précoce : une décision en Égypte de ne pas documenter les mariages de mineures et le cas de la Yéménite mariée à huit ans qui a demandé le divorce. Dans de nombreux pays arabes, les lois fixent un âge minimum pour les mariages qui varie d’un pays à l’autre, mais des exceptions sont toujours acceptées. Au Liban, chaque communauté a ses lois. La commission nationale étant consciente de la difficulté d’avaliser une loi unifiée à ce propos, nous préparons un projet qui stipule que tout mariage incluant une mineure doit obtenir le permis du juge des mineurs », a-t-elle relevé.

Enfin, le Dr Hala Itani, professeure à l’institut, a exposé les facteurs qui favorisent les mariages précoces, notamment la pauvreté, la vie rurale. « En Occident, avec l’urbanisation, nous avons même vu une diminution des mariages normaux », a-t-elle déclaré, énumérant les solutions pour lutter contre ce phénomène (notamment l’éducation) et ses conséquences. « Ces mariages augmentent la durée de fertilité d’une femme, surtout que les hommes qui épousent des mineures ont moins de contrôle sur la fréquence de leurs relations sexuelles. Cela favorise la pauvreté et consacre ainsi un cercle vicieux, a-t-elle affirmé. Sans oublier le viol, la prostitution et le fait qu’une femme qui se marie avant 15 ans a 60 fois plus de risques de faire une fausse couche ou d’accoucher d’un enfant malade qu’une femme qui se marie après 20 ans. »

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Do you know at what age it is okay for your to marry legally in Lebanon??

some confessions (sects) give for a girl at the age of 9 a special Licence to get married (check the catholics laws) !!! others the age of 14!!! (evangelical sects or confession)

for the Shiite confession a girl can get married at 9 too with the approval of the Sheikh!

as for boys the confessions give the boys the legal age of 16 for the catholics and 13 with a licence for the Israelite in Lebanon.

for all those who are interested in the legal age of getting married in Lebanon,

here is a snapshot taken from the official Lebanese CEDAW report of 2006 that was presented to the UN.

rita chemaly legal age of marriage in Lebanon between confessions

Rita Chemaly

Author and researcher in Political Sciences

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